Friday, June 21, 2013

Tennessee Aquarium

My children love hands-on learning.
What better way to learn than to use your five senses: see, smell, touch, hear, taste! Of course at the Tennessee Aquarium, tasting may be a little out of the question, unless you enjoy raw fish, bugs, or river water (Yuck!); but the remaining four senses come in handy. (And by the way, they do have tasty food close by, if you're hungry)
Over the years we have visited the Tennessee Aquarium (located in Chattanooga, Tn) often.
Since we are not far from there, we have had the privilege of learning about aquatic animals up close and personal. And considering we homeschool, doing that, is an amazing asset to our education.
The largest turtle shell...

The Tennessee Aquarium is frequently changing up their programs, adding new attractions or critters, and offering exciting new things, to keep us coming back for more.  Not only do they have animals to look at, but they also have a very fun Ranger Rick show at various times during the day.

Some of our favorite animals to see when we are there include:
Otters
It is so much fun to watch them dive, play, and swim.
 I think the kids could hang around this one spot for hours...
but we need to move on....
Penguins
We have enjoyed watching these penguins build their nests with rocks and care for their young.
 The kids always have to get their photo taken with the penguin, and feel the coldness of the water they swim in.
 What do you know about penguins? Test your penguin IQ and size yourself up!
Sturgeon and Sting Rays
The kids just love this! It is a see, smell, and touch activity, in which they usually end up soaked!! On slow days we have even been given the opportunity to feed the sting rays. 
 There are two exhibits for petting the fish. One includes Sturgeon...
 The other sting rays and a few sharks (that don't bite)
As a matter of fact these shark are a little different than the ones you see elsewhere in the Aquarium.  
Last but not least the
Butterfly Garden
Unless you are afraid of these little creatures, it is the most amazing place to go. There are butterflies fluttering everywhere, the most beautiful exotic plants, and even a window where you can watch them emerge from their cocoons.
 Personally, I could spend alot of time in this one spot! The kids love to see if they can get that butterfly to land on their fingers! Just be careful you do not take one out as a hitchhiker when you leave.
Other creatures Tennessee Aquarium offers include a huge variety of fish, sharks, crocks, snakes and other reptiles, sea horses, jellyfish and much more! I can guarantee you will enjoy your visit and possibly, if you take your time, there will be more there than you can see in a day!
For us cost-wise, it has been beneficial to just purchase a yearly membership. That way we can go for just a few hours and take in what we can and return as often as we like.  We always chose the bring-a-guest-free membership option so we can take a friend at no additional cost. For a larger family with many children even on a one day trip membership could turn out to be cost effective.
 
There are many free attractions right outside the aquarium you can enjoy. There are water fountains for playing in on hot summer days, the trail of tears for learning history, and an amazing view of the Tennessee River and beautiful places to walk or roll in the grass! (If your ten and under, or a kid at heart!)
 Most imporantly it is a great way to spend a day enjoying God's creation with your family, whether indoors or out.
The downtown Chattanooga area offers many attractions for tourists or locals, but... more on those some other time!

Have you had the opportunity to visit the Tennessee Aquarium?  What were your favorite critters or what would you like to see if you ever get a chance to visit? 
You can learn much more about them by visiting their website at TNAQUA

4 comments:

  1. We have loved visiting there several times over the years. This is truly our favorite auarium! (even beats the one in KY and over in the mountains!) Love the picture of your daughter and the butterfly! Thanks for the tips and pictures! I think it's time to take our kids back for another visit!

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  2. We went there years ago and loved it! I would love to go back if I am ever that way.

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  3. This is an aquarium we have not visited yet! My kids love hands-on too and we love visiting aquariums whenever we travel. I love your review and all the great pictures - the kids look like they are having an amazing time. Great tips too. This one is definitely added to our list of aquariums to visit!

    Elizabeth T, Early Rise

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  4. Sounds like you had a great visit. I am not too far from there. Sounds like a fun place to take my kids!

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